Lionel Messi Says €700M Transfer Tag Invalid, But He’s Staying at Barca

Posted on: September 4, 2020, 09:39h. 

Last updated on: September 4, 2020, 10:53h.

BREAKING: TyC Sports in Argentina reports that Lionel Messi will stay with Barcelona until June 30, 2021, when his contract is set to expire.

Lionel Messi, speaking through his father and agent Jorge Messi, says the €700 million ($825 million) transfer clause on his Barca football club contract has expired.

Lionel Messi odds soccer Barcelona
Lionel Messi is reportedly staying in Barcelona for another season. (Image: Sky Sports)

Widely regarded as one of the game’s best players of all-time, Messi notified Barca on August 25 of his wishes to depart the organization that he’s called home for the entirety of his professional career. The 33-year-old played two years as a youth with Barcelona, and since 2004 has been a member of FC Barcelona.

This [€700 million] compensation will not apply when the resolution of the contract, by the unilateral decision of the player, takes effect from the end of the 2019-20 sporting season,” the elder Messi said in a statement. “It’s obvious that the compensation of €700m does not apply at all.”

Oddsmakers and bettors, however, feel Messi will remain in Spain for at least another year.

Sky Bet has Messi at 1/7 to stay put (implied odds 87.5 percent). Manchester City in the Premier League is next at 4/1, and Serie A’s Inter Milan and Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) longer at 28/1.

Messy Situation

La Liga, the Spanish football league that Messi’s headlined for more than a decade, agrees with Barcelona that the nearly $1 billion transfer fee remains intact.

“The contract is currently in force and has a ‘termination clause’ applicable to the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to urge the early unilateral termination of the contract,” a league statement declared. “In compliance with the applicable regulations, and following the corresponding procedure in these cases, La Liga will not carry out the visa process for the player to be removed from the federation if they have not previously paid the amount of said clause.”

At the age of 33, Messi is still in prime form. During the 2019-20 season, he led the La Liga in goals scored with 25 and competed in 33 matches. But despite his talent and marketability, there’s still little to no chance a club would be willing to pay anywhere near the €700 million transfer tag.

The most expensive football transfer ever paid came in 2017, when PSG paid €222 million ($262 million) to snag Neymar from Barcelona. PSG also paid the second-highest transfer tag in history, the club dropping €180 million in 2018 for Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

Messi Longshots

The Messi transfer is currently the biggest soccer story on the planet, and UK oddsmakers are offering up a slew of potential destinations for the international superstar.

Sky Bet has the odds of Messi following in David Beckham’s footsteps and exiting Europe for Major League Soccer in the US at 50/1. Joining Manchester United is at 44/1, “any Chinese Super League club” at 66/1, and Arsenal at 100/1.